“I simply invited them to begin”
and then let them get on with it.
Which reminds me, a noted baroque conductor (or “semi-conductor“, to use Norman Lebrecht’s term) was rehearsing the opening of a slow aria in the Matthew Passion. One of the wind players suggested he might try subdividing:
“Could you give us 7–8 into it?”
Conductor, indignantly: “I didn’t get where I am today by giving 7–8!”
“I didn’t get where I am today by…” soon became another musos’ snowclone.
And here’s Larson’s take on conducting.